“She needs to be broken.”

Spoken by the director of my daughter’s former school, those words ring in my mind. I was called in for a “meeting” by the director because of my daughter’s behavior one day. I honestly cannot even recall what she was accused of doing. She was 5 at the time, and not all 5 year olds are perfect. And the other child involved in the incident was the director’s granddaughter. Let’s just leave it at that. But, I vividly remember sitting in her office, as if I was in a therapy session. “She does have anger issues…” I said. “She needs to be broken,” she said.

She is a firecracker, that’s for sure. Strong willed. Independent. Determined. And if you ask my husband, she gets it from me.

But I keep hearing that word in my mind. Broken. She does not need to be broken. She is already broken, as we all are. We are all broken people, in need of healing. In need of a Savior. Rather than nod my head that day in affirmation, I should have said that. I’m saying it now. We are all born broken. And we are all in need of a Savior that will heal.

I know there are books out there geared for strong-willed children and how to ‘correct’ the issue. A couple of years ago, shortly after that meeting in the director’s office, I began to read The Strong Willed Child.  As James Dobson says, “Challenging as they are to raise, strong-willed children can grow up to be men and women of strong characterโ€”if lovingly guided with understanding and the right kind of discipline.”  Some days are a battle. And it can be mentally exhausting trying to figure out how to react when she tests me. Most of the time I just want to scream. Because as it turns out, you see, I’m broken too. And perhaps the healing of my brokenness comes in part from raising this strong-willed daughter of mine. We are one in the same, knit from the same thread.

I know we’ll get through this testing phase. “This too shall pass.” Am I right?

Though she is strong-willed, she is lovely. Perfectly broken.


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